Jez's Blog

The Strange Story of How I Found a New Band

A Salute to My Influences

Celebrating Our Differences

Daring to Use the Four-Letter Word

What Is The Real Olympian Spirit?

Watching The Olympics Opening Ceremony

How Good Service Turned into a Speed Trip

Blurring the Line Between Fact and Fiction

How Creativity Keeps Moving On

How an Artist in the Kitchen Revealed my Inner 'Foody'

Synchronicity - an Everyday Sort of Magic

Does This Make You Laugh?

The Magic of Storytelling

How Good Design Serves the User

Learning to Love Creative Blocks

Creating The CLUB

How a Kiss Missed Its Target at a Posh Do

How Bob Dylan refused the Box labelled ‘Protest Singer’

The ‘Get Back in Your Box’ Syndrome

What’s all the fuss about?

Reflections on Learning and Teaching

The Third in my Triptych of Entries about Thought

Happily disconnected in Cornwall

The Best Way to Sell is to Do Something Well

Life is Good

Zen & the Art of Birdwatching

Does This Make You Laugh?


Rikka enters the room, tears streaming down her face making a wild shrieking noise. To most people this would be cause for alarm but I know better - this cathartic display is what you get when my wife Rikka’s funny bone has been seriously tickled. A sense of humour is a funny thing (pun intended) – they are so idiosynchratic, so personal and sometimes  surprisingly  unrelated to the owner’s personality. For example I wouldn’t say my Mother had a well developed, broad sense of humour; all the great comedians that my family loved when I was a boy left her cold. To her Benny Hill, Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Woody Allen, Basil Fawlty, Monty Python were just childish and silly men whose jokes and comic personae just weren’t funny. But to my family’s great amusement and bemusement – one British comic somehow never failed to find and tickle my Mother’s well hidden funny bone. Frankie Howard’s rambling, camp (though we didn’t know what that was back then) monologues were full of catchphrases such as ‘Don’t titter madam’ exhorting his audience to not read into his narratives innuendos which he was so carefully planting for them to find. For some reason this game between the saucy Mr Howard and his audience just hit the spot for my Mum; she laughed, I think, in spite of herself or her own ‘better’ judgement.


Laughter is a great let go (as witnessed by my wife’s involuntary tears of laughter) and its health giving qualities are well known. Rikka told me of a friend (let’s call her Lucy) who went to a Catholic school where 'ungodly' bodily functions were looked down upon by the nuns and farting was strictly not allowed. In later years when Lucy moved in with her first boyfriend he commented on the fact that he had never heard her fart. Lucy told him how, because of her old school’s fart free regime, she just couldn’t let herself pass wind in front of him. The story goes that through the boyfriend’s influence and ‘example’, Lucy gradually became liberated from her draconian conditioning. The real punch line to the story is that Lucy found that the headaches which had plagued her since schooldays disappeared!


But enough of the teasing; what was it that had tickled Rikka’s funny bone so violently and will it have the same affect on you? In between her frenzied shrieking and gasping for breath I just about managed to recognise a phrase which she kept repeating – FART WITH CONFIDENCE. She was holding a health magazine and pointed to a tiny advert in the back pages; here was a picture of a lady incongruously contorting herself on the gravel drive of a stately home. Her legs were split wide apart, one flat on the gravel while the other was stretched right over her head. To me this seemed to be an advert that I might have seen thirty years ago in the back of my Monty Python book, as if a group of people who had been traumatized all their lives by repressive nuns were, like Lucy, finally breaking free of their mental shackles with a call to arms - don’t be ashamed, be proud, FART WITH CONFIDENCE!


The tag line ‘Flatulance flitering underwear’ (I kid you not) which appeared at the bottom (pun intended again) shed a bit more light on the conundrum of the lady contorting on the gravel. It suggested that you could fart with confidence because in these pants no one would hear you. I’m reminded of the tag line to the Alien films ‘In space - no one can hear you scream’; in these pants no one can hear you fart! But this begs certain questions; what are these pants made of? What material has the power give pants internal soundproofing? The mind boggles.


I will leave you with a fart joke. When Oscar Wilde passed wind at a posh soiree an outraged gentleman said ‘How dare you fart in front of my wife!’ Oscar replied nonchalantly ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t realise it was her turn.’


October 29th

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